Making Legacy Systems Last…

A few weeks ago, my cousin returned from Australia with her laptop in hand. The laptop was getting slow to start and so being the somewhat knowledgeble guru in the house, naturally I am the one to diagnose and solve problems.

And so, on a certain off day, where calls keep coming in from camp briefing me on events that is going to happen the following week, I started work on it… Switching on the laptop, it was clear that the Hard Disk is not performing up to standards… the high whoosh and the long loading times made me suspect that the disk was about to fail.

Thus, having diagnosed the problem, I began to search for IDE hard disks and clone disk solutions. Since I dont have access to the wonderful Norton Ghost, freeware will have to do. A search on softpedia revealed Self Image; although not updated, was sufficient on paper for my needs.

One grouse about the program was that it cannot clone a smaller disk onto a larger disk, to elaborate further, a 40gb partition cloned onto a 160gb partition will become only 40gb in space, the other 120gb effectively wasted. Norton Ghost doesnt have that limitation.

Anyway once I cloned the disk, made it as active partition before swapping over to the IDE connector from USB. Eureka! Start up and loading time did decrease quite a bit, although the root problem is that there isn’t enough RAM (512mb-128mb for video) to flow around in the first place. So as a countermeasure I increased the Page File to compensate abit…

Finally, changed some programs to their smaller counterpart (eg Foxit vs Adobe Reader), and defragmented the disk (72% fragmented… -_-). This will probably make the laptop last for another year or two… until hardware for legacy devices runs out…

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